A rare late 18th century twelve tune musical clock in an adapted case Eardley Norton, London, number 1861
Lot 45W
A rare late 18th century twelve tune musical clock in an adapted case
Eardley Norton, London, number 1861
Sold for £16,250 (US$ 26,046) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare late 18th century twelve tune musical clock in an adapted case Eardley Norton, London, number 1861 A rare late 18th century twelve tune musical clock in an adapted case Eardley Norton, London, number 1861 A rare late 18th century twelve tune musical clock in an adapted case Eardley Norton, London, number 1861
A rare late 18th century twelve tune musical clock in an adapted case
Eardley Norton, London, number 1861
The pagoda top marquetry case surmounted by classical bust and four urn finials, over Ionic columns, concave moulded plinth base with foliate feet, all embellished with applied musical trophies and later geometric marquetry decoration, the signed 9 inch silvered Roman and Arabic breakarch dial with foliate spandrels, matted centre and date aperture, the arch set with subsidiary strike/not strike and chime/not chime dials beneath the twelve tune selection ark, enclosing the inset silvered signature plaque, the triple fusee movement with anchor escapement, chiming the hour on a sliding assembly of fourteen bells via eighteen hammers actuated by a 9.5 inch barrel (see footnote) and regulated by a worm driven fly, the shaped backplate engraved with urns among foliage, centred on the signature cartouche. 85cm (33.5in)

Footnotes

  • A similar movement is illustrated and discussed in Ord-Hume's 'The Musical Clock', Mayfield Books, 1995, plate XII/10, pages 250-251, where it is mentioned that Eardley Norton was one of a small number of makers who employed the 'carriage-change system' of tune selection whereby the bell assembly and hammers are moved along the length of the barrel by a leaf spring, rather than the barrel being moved beneath the bell assembly, which was the more common arrangement. This system was used by John Ellicott Junior and in an earlier period by John Taylor of Ashton and earlier still by Roger Dunster.

    Eardley Norton was born in Lincolnshire in 1728 and by 1762 was working at 49 St. John's Street, Clerkenwell. He was a freeman of the Clockmakers' Company being freed in 1762 an enjoyed a reputation as a very skilled clockmaker. He is best known for making complex timepieces, sometimes with musical and astronomical movements for the export market, including Turkey and the Far East.

    His most notable work may be his four dial astronomical clock, commissioned by George III for the library of Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace, London). In addition, there are clocks made by him in the Royal Collection, the Virginia Museum, the National Museum of Stockholm, and an elaborate automaton clock with organ in the Palace Museum located in Peking. On his death, his business was taken over by the partnership of Gravell and Tolkien.
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